Frist withdraws from World Bank job

Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has withdrawn his name from consideration for World Bank president, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Monday.

Frist, a Tennessee Republican, served two terms in the U.S. Senate, where he was a close ally to President Bush.

World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz earlier this month announced he will step down June 30, his leadership undermined after he broke bank rules in his handling of a generous compensation package for his girlfriend, bank employee Shaha Riza, in 2005.

Frist told administration officials Monday that he did not want to be considered for the top job at the bank, citing his desire to take a break from government work, said the source who asked not to be identified because he had not been authorized to speak publicly about the decision.

Frist, 55, in November abandoned a long-expected White House bid, instead saying that his immediate plans were to take "a sabbatical from public life."

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is leading the effort to find a replacement for Wolfowitz.

Other names mentioned for the post include: former Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick, who was Bush's former trade chief; Robert Kimmitt, No. 2 at the Treasury Department; Stanley Fischer, who once worked at the International Monetary Fund and is now with the Bank of Israel; former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker; former Rep. Jim Leach, R-Iowa; and Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind.

Paulson's name also has been floated.

Among non-Americans, outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair has been mentioned as a possibility. So have Ashraf Ghani, former Afghan finance minister, who also once worked at the World Bank; Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Nigerian finance minister and former bank official; and South African Finance Minister Trevor Manuel.

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